Bloodroot: Reflections on Place by Appalachian Women Writers / Edition 1

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Winner of the 1997 Appalachian Studies Award Appalachian Writers Association 1999 Book of the Year Winner of the Susan Koppleman Award of the Popular Culture Association for Best Edited Collection in Women's Studies Joyce Dyer is director of writing and associate professor of English at Hiram College, Ohio."

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Winner of the 1999 Book of the Year Award given by the Appalachian Writer's Assoication." --

"Winner of the award for best edited volume given by the Women's Caucus of the Popular Culture Association." --

"The seed for an intriguing nonfiction collection was planted with one simple question: 'What were the influences on your writing?'" -- Southern Living

"The contributors are an impressive group, distinguished international lecturers and respected scholars, winners of numerous grants and literary awards." -- Southern Quarterly

"It's a book that speaks in the many voices of Appalachia's women writers. Sometimes their voices sing. Sometimes they tell a story or a fragment or a memory. but always they offer a piece of their soul. It's a gift worth accepting." -- The Knoxville News-Sentinel

"A volume rich with unexpected gifts." -- Appalachian Heritage

"In Bloodroot are the real mountains and their prolific and grateful offspring." -- The Roanoke Times

"Gratitude permeates this collection, making it a warm invitation to experience Appalachian country." -- The Appalachian Quarterly

"A worthy addition of any collection of Appalachian literature." -- Ace Magazine

"Dyer's collection of short essays by some 35 'Appalachian women writers' makes a fairly riveting witness to the whole process of deciding that you are from anywhere, and what that means anyway." -- Appalachian Journal

"Each essay is filled with illuminating honesty and allows the reader to glance into the writer's soul. The conclusions of most of the essays are exquisite gems." -- Bloomsbury Review

"Contained in this book are a collection of memories as rich, strong, and unforgiving as the land from which they came." -- BookLovers

"From the well-known, like Dykeman, Sharyn McCrumb and Denise Giardina, to the lesser known, these essayists, in one way or another, write of what it means to come to fully appreciate one's native tongue; to be inspired by the courage and fortitude of their Appalachian foremothers; and to glory in their profound attachment to the natural beauty of the Appalachian hills, hollers and trails." -- Bowling Green Daily News

"Wherever your own roots lie, you will find Bloodroot moving, inspiring -- and a reminder that we are all shaped by the landscape we spring from, the place we call home." -- Chicago Tribune, Charlotte Observer

"Although all of the writers discuss their writing and its ties to their Appalachian experience in some fashion, the book should appeal to audiences who have little or no knowledge of the Appalachian region as well as those who are particularly interested in it and its literature." -- Choice

"After reading the essays, the reader should come away with a much better concept of this place we call home, Appalachia." -- Floyd County (KY) Times

"This is a wonderful book. Not the kind you can't put down, not the kind for which you take copious notes. This is a book you can read for awhile and then come back to. It's a book that makes you start thinking about your own life." -- Journal of Appalachian Studies

"Although the stories in the collection are diverse, the authors' shared connection to the region stands out and speaks of a part of America's literary history that has been unexplored for too long." -- Kentucky Monthly

"If the word Appalachia conjures little more for you than mining disasters and Walker Evans photos, turn these pages and discover the remarkable storytelling tradition that flourished there, and survives still.... This collection won the 1997 Appalachian Studies Award -- and deservedly so." -- Kirkus Reviews

"These women describe Appalachia with poignancy, eloquence, forthrightness, and humor and produce a powerful collection of reminiscences, each different in its own way, to enrich both the region they describe and the reader who turns the pages." -- Louisville Courier Journal

"The writers here represent some of the most unique and often unsung talent in literature. These essays will carry you to a far mountain place and whet your appetite for more" -- Magazine (Baton Rouge, LA)

"In voices that are honest and true, these women celebrate the rich cultural mother lode of the Appalachians." -- Magill Book Reviews

"A rich and outstanding contribution." -- McCormick (SC) Messenger

"Hats off to Joyce Dyer for such a grand idea for a book." -- Now & Then

"A marvel of a book, one whose significance far exceeds the boundaries of the mountains." -- NWSA Journal

"Taken together, these essays articulate the difficult beauty, history, culture, and deep-rootedness of the 'Southern Appalachian region, the section that forms the book's focus'." -- Ohioana Quarterly

"Each essay is like sitting on the porch and drinking a cool lemonade while each writer weaves a story of a grandmother or uncle or describes some homeplace long abandoned, but never forgotten." -- Paintsville Herald

"Dyer succeeds admirably in a dual purpose: to promote a vital and virtually unknown body of work, and to suggest an Appalachian spirit that transcends state borders and artistic genres." -- Publishers Weekly (starred review)

Kirkus Reviews
A broad sampling of deeply impressive writings—essays, memoirs, poetry, letters, storiesþby women from the Southern Highlands, edited by Dyer (In a Tangled Wood, not reviewed). If the word Appalachia conjures little more for you than mining disasters and Walker Evans photos, turn these pages and discover the remarkable storytelling tradition that flourished there, and thrives still. Every one of these 35 pieces goes down smooth as a glass of Georgia peach, even when it bites. A few of the names of the contributors will be familiarþNikki Giovanni and Gail Godwin, Jayne Anne Phillips, whose offering is a terrific out-of-time remembrance of her hometown, circa 1962þbut most of the women here (all were born in the 20th century) have toiled long and hard, often in obscurity, their love of words keeping the storytelling art aliveþand high art it is. Each writer was asked to address how the Appalachias had affected them (whites, African-Americans, and Native Americans are represented). There are good doses of the stubborn, rooted poetry of attachment by Kathryn Stripling Byer, Rita Sims Quillen, and others. Lou V.P. Crabtree, a certified old soul, tenders a stark, lyric portrait of Price Hollow; Hilda Downer's depiction of Bandanaþ"named for the red bandana Clinchfield Railroad tied to a laurel branch to denote an imaginary train station"þis more sensuous. Denise Gardinia tells of losing her innocence to grammar, and Ellesa Clay High takes readers on a tour of her home patch through a "soft female rain that can last for days hereþsomething we share with Seattle and other places." There are 26 others, each as deserving of mention as the next.This collection won the 1997 Appalachian Studies Award—likely hands down, and deservedly so. (b&w photos, not seen)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780813109831
  • Publisher: University Press of Kentucky
  • Publication date: 4/13/2012
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 1,079,127
  • Product dimensions: 0.66 (w) x 6.14 (h) x 9.21 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction 1
Flowering Ivy 16
Border States 21
The Mountains Dark and Close around Me 31
Sound 40
Root Hog, or Die 52
Deep Water 61
Good Questions 71
Paradise in Price Hollow 80
All This, and Honeysuckles Too 87
Mutant in Bandana 98
"The Past Is Never Dead, It's Not Even Past" 105
Women Born to Be Strong 111
Salt-Water Geechee Mounds 120
No Scapin the Booger Man 128
400 Mulvaney Street 132
Uncle Orphy 140
The Standing People 146
Writing in the Smokehouse 153
Voiceplace 167
Keepers of the Legends 175
Letter from a Poet in West Virginia 187
A Natural History 192
Leaving Pre-Appalachia 200
Premature Burial 209
Counting the Sums 218
The Song about the Story - The Story behind the Song 225
Westward from Bald Mountain 233
The Search for the Beulah Quintet 243
Piddlin' 247
Big Stone Gap 253
Appalachian Loaves and Fishes 261
Inside Discoveries 272
Terrain of the Heart 277
This House and This World 282
An Inquiry into Who My Grandmother Really Was 289
Works Cited 298
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